Jupiter Island’s Nat Reed forms new nonprofit, blasts Scott administration for lack of conservation efforts

The Florida Conservation Coalition, a non-partisan group of non-profit organizations and concerned citizens hosted a news conference on November 30 in the Florida State Capitol Courtyard.

Longtime environmental advocate Senator Bob Graham, two-term Florida governor and three-term U.S. Senator, led the event urging elected officials, policy makers and candidates for office to protect and conserve Florida’s natural resources essential to the well-being and quality of life of the residents of this state and its long-term economic prosperity.

“Our water and natural resources are what makes Florida special – the envy of the nation,” said Senator Graham.  “It is the fabric that holds our state together.  Our natural heritage simply can no longer be treated as a commodity with indifference and disrespect as has happened in 2011.”

Other speakers included: Senator Paula Dockery (R-Lakeland); Nathaniel “Nat” Reed, Chairman Emeritus of the 1000 Friends of Florida Board of Directors; Eric Draper, Executive Director for Audubon of Florida; Manley Fuller, President of the Florida Wildlife Federation; and Samantha Ruiz, co-president of the University of Central Florida student organization Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions (I.D.E.A.S.).

The priorities of the group are:

  • Restoring reasonable funding for Florida’s regional water management districts to provide for water quality protection, adequate water supplies, flood protection, and natural resources protection.
  • Funding Florida Forever including acquiring land for water resource protection.
  • Reaffirming Florida’s commitment to restore the Everglades, upon which South Florida’s water supply and quality of life depends.
  • Managing Florida’s water resources at the regional, not state level.
  • Ensuring that growth management laws and policies support sustainable use of water.
  • Promoting efficient use and conservation of water.
  • Opposing efforts to privatize Florida’s water.

Charter members of the Florida Conservation Coalition include:

FOUNDER
Bob Graham, Former Governor of Florida and U.S. Senator

AUDUBON OF FLORIDA
Eric Draper, Executive Director
Allan Milledge, Board Member, former Chairman ELMs Committee and SFWMD
Mary Jean Yon

CONSERVANCY OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA
Andrew McElwaine, Chair

EVERGLADES FOUNDATION
Kirk Fordham, CEO
Yvonne Gsteiger

FLORIDA WILDLIFE FEDERATION
Manley Fuller, President
Martha Musgrove, Board Member
Preston Robertson, General Counsel and VP for Conservation

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
Deirdre Macnab, President
Jessica Lowe-Minor, Executive Director

1000 FRIENDS OF FLORIDA

Victoria Tschinkel, Chair, and former Secretary Department of Environmental Regulation
Charles Pattison, President
Vivian Young, Communications Director

SIERRA CLUB
Craig Diamond, Executive Committee
Frank Jackalone, Senior Organizing Manager

ST. JOHNS RIVERKEEPER
Jimmy Orth, Executive Director

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
John Robert Middlemas, Chair
Roy Rogers, Chairman, Board Government Relations Committee
Janet Bowman, Director of Legislative Policy and Strategy

TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND
Greg Chelius, Florida State Director
Will Abberger, Director Conservation Finance

INDIVIDUALS
Lester Abberger
John Finlayson, Agriculturist, Jefferson County, former Chairman SRWMD
Bill Kerr, Environmental Consultant, Brevard County, former Chairman SJRWMD
Gary Kuhl, Former Executive Director, SWFWMD
Jay Landers, Former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, Former Director of the Department of Natural Resources
Nathaniel Reed, former Assistant Secretary of the Interior, former Chairman SFWMD, Founder and Chairman Emeritus 1000 Friends of Florida
Auley Rowell, Agriculturist, Taylor County, former Chairman of SRWMD
Sonny Vergara, Former Executive Director, SWFWMD and SJRWMD
Estus Whitfield, Former Principal Environmental Advisor to 5 Florida Governors

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